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The Rose of Allendale
(Roud 1218)
Martin Howley
Fanore, north west Clare
Recorded in singer's home, summer 1975

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Martin Howley

The morning was fair and the sky was clear
No break came over the sea,
When Mary left her highland cot
To wander far with me.
The roses decked the mountainside
And fragrance filled the vale,
By far the sweetest flowers there
Was the rose of Allendale.

The rose of Allendale,
The rose of Allendale.
By far the sweetest flower there
Was the rose of Allendale.

And where e'er I wander east or west
When fate began to blow.
A solace still she was to me
In sorrow's lonely hour.
When tempests lashed our gallant barque
And rent our shivering sails,
One maiden's form withstood the storm
Was the rose of Allendale.

The rose of Allendale,
The rose of Allendale.
One maiden's form withstood the storm,
Was the rose of Allendale.

And when my fevered lips were parched
In Africa's burning sand,
She whispered hopes of happiness
And tales of distant land.
My life is but a wilderness,
Unblessed by fortune's gain.
Had fate not led my lot to her
Was the rose of Allendale.

The rose of Allendale,
The rose of Allendale.
Had fate not led my lot to her
Was the rose of Allendale.


“This is an English song, with words by Charles Jefferys and music by Sidney Nelson, composed in the 1840s. The English song lyrics are about a maiden from the town of Allendale, Northumberland (in love songs, a rose, regarded as a beautiful and romantic flower, is often the fairest maiden of a region or village). Even though similarities are striking, the song is a translated version of a much older German folk song whose melody is rooted in an old ‘Altwürttembergische Melodie’ from the Remsvalley. It is a soldier's farewell song to his beloved and reflects the unstable times of war.”
Jim Carroll

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